Joseph Stiglitz Calls Out Corporate Tax Dodgers – Here Are 10 of Them

Search form

Joseph Stiglitz Calls Out Corporate Tax Dodgers – Here Are 10 of Them

Joseph Stiglitz Calls Out Corporate Tax Dodgers – Here Are 10 of Them
Wed, 6/18/2014
This article originally appeared on BillMoyers.com

In this recent report for the Roosevelt Institute, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz suggests that paying our fair share of taxes and cracking down on corporate tax dodgers could be a cure for inequality and a faltering economy.

In the above video, Stiglitz tells Bill Moyers that Apple, Google, GE and a host of other Fortune 500 companies are creating what amounts to “an unlimited IRA for corporations.” The result? Vast amounts of lost revenue for our treasury and the exporting of much-needed jobs to other countries.

“I think we can use our tax system to create a better society, to be an expression of our true values,” Stiglitz says. “But if people don’t think that their tax system is fair, they’re not going to want to contribute. It’s going to be difficult to get them to pay. And, unfortunately, right now, our tax system is neither fair nor efficient.”

Stiglitz continues, “We have a tax system that reflects not the interest of the middle. We have a tax system that reflects the interest of the one percent… What I want to do is create a tax system that has incentives to create jobs. And if you tell a corporation, ‘Look, if you don’t create jobs, you’re taking out of our system, you’re not putting anything back, you’re going to pay a high tax. But if you put back into our system by investing, then you can get your tax rate down.’ That seems to me common sense, particularly in a time like today, when 20 million Americans need a full-time job and can’t get one.”

This recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness suggests that corporate taxes are near a 60-year low — and that’s partially because corporations have become adept at not paying their share.

Here’s a list of 10 tax-dodging corporations excerpted from the Americans for Tax Fairness report:

Bank of America runs its business through more than 300 offshore tax-haven subsidiaries. It reported $17.2 billion in accumulated offshore profits in 2012. It would owe $4.3 billion in U.S. taxes if these funds were brought back to the U.S.

Citigroup had $42.6 billion in foreign profits parked offshore in 2012 on which it paid no U.S. taxes. It reported that it would owe $11.5 billion if it brings these funds back to the U.S. A significant chunk is being held in tax-haven countries.

ExxonMobil had a three-year federal income tax rate of just 15 percent. This gave the company a tax subsidy worth $6.2 billion from 2010-2012. It had $43 billion in offshore profits at the end of 2012, on which it paid no U.S. taxes.

FedEx made $6 billion over the last three years and didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes, in part because the tax code subsidized its purchase of new planes. This gave FedEx a huge tax subsidy worth $2.1 billion.

General Electric received a tax subsidy of nearly $29 billion over the last 11 years. While dodging paying its fair share of federal income taxes, GE pocketed $21.8 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.

Honeywell had profits of $5 billion from 2009 to 2012. Yet it paid only $50 million in federal income taxes for the period. Its tax rate was just 1 percent over the last four years. This gave it a huge tax subsidy worth $1.7 billion.

Merck had profits of $13.6 billion and paid $2.5 billion in federal income taxes from 2009 to 2012. While dodging its fair share of federal income taxes, it pocketed $8.7 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.

Microsoft saved $4.5 billion in federal income taxes from 2009 to 2011 by transferring profits to a subsidiary in the tax haven of Puerto Rico. It had $60.8 billion in profits stashed offshore in 2012 on which it paid no U.S. taxes.

Pfizer paid no U.S. income taxes from 2010 to 2012 while earning $43 billion worldwide. It did this in part by performing accounting acrobatics to shift its U.S. profits offshore. It received $2.2 billion in federal tax refunds.

Verizon made $19.3 billion in U.S. pretax profits from 2008 to 2012, yet didn’t pay any federal income taxes during the period. Instead, it got $535 million in tax rebates. Verizon’s effective federal income tax rate was negative 2.8 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Originally published by BillMoyers.com

Article Tabs

The Sharing Cities Network will bring activists together around the world this month to connect the dots and map grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources and the commons.

Political equality and true democracy are at the moment only ideals toward which we are striving – while the political institutions and policies underpinning oligarchic power must be dismantled.

Ruling that "the right to vote is fundamental," a N.C. appeals court reinstated the right to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day, and to vote outside one's home precinct.

A 26-year-old Austrian doctoral student at the University of Vienna is waging a legal battle that could force Facebook to change how it manages data in Europe.

Calls for the resignation of Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, have resonated far beyond the young activists who first launched the protest campaign.

KathyJo Torrenga and her husband decided to challenge their foreclosure on their own, learning as much as they could about mortgage securitization and the damages caused by it.

Posted 6 days 2 hours ago

2014 is on pace to be the Year of Dark Money.

Posted 6 days 1 hour ago

A publicly-owned bank could help Scotland take control of its own economic destiny by avoiding unnecessary debt to a private banking system that's become a burden to the economy.

Posted 6 days 2 hours ago

This Acronym TV report from the Flood Wall Street day of action features exclusive footage, analysis and interviews with people at the heart of the movement.

Posted 6 days 1 hour ago

People who purchase occupied properties will evict current residents starting a cycle of blight and displacement that will cost individuals, owners, the community and the city in the long run.

Posted 2 days 3 hours ago

The capture by the executive class of so much wealth performs no useful function. On the contrary, essential public services are cut so that the rich may pay less tax.

On Monday, Croatian Revolution Hackers (CRH) took down hundreds of online news sites and those belonging to banks and government entities in what is being called the biggest hacker attack ever in the Balkan country.

San Francisco labor, housing and activist groups accuse the city of bypassing laws that forbid private buses from using public stops.

The renowned biologist, author and activist was just released from two weeks in jail for blocking the driveway of Inergy Midstream, an energy company in upstate New York that plans to pump fracked gas.

If Germany is opposed to Eurobonds, it should consider leaving the euro.

Sign Up